There is, for Dabo Swinney, some satisfaction in what he sees unfolding before his eyes.
His Tigers are invested, focused, improving and poised to take another step up the ladder when the BCS Standings are released later today.
They're 8-1 with a three-game homestand ahead to finish the regular season.
"It's very exciting to see," said Swinney Saturday night after the ninth-ranked Tigers demolished Duke 56-20. "We've worked really hard to recruit guys we feel fit our program, and we've worked hard to develop guys, discipline guys, teach guys.
"The staff has worked tirelessly, but you have to give credit to the players. They practice hard and they just do what we ask them to do. We don't have a lot of issues."
Most exciting of all, said Swinney, is "that we're still a young team. We only have 11 seniors, and we have 11 juniors. This is a freshmen-sophomore team. It's fun to watch them grow up right before your eyes."
Swinney said every game is another opportunity in Clemson's 'Quest for Best.'
"We're 8-1, but our goals are bigger than 8-1," he said. "We want to be the best we can possibly be...If we play well, the scoreboard will take care of itself."